ON JANUARY 13, 2016, THE HONOURABLE DAVID EGGEN, ALBERTA MINISTER OF EDUCATION, RELEASED "THE GUIDELINES" (GUIDELINES FOR BEST PRACTICES: CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS THAT RESPECT DIVERSE SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS, GENDER IDENTITIES AND GENDER EXPRESSIONS) TO ALL ALBERTA SCHOOL BOARDS, ADVISING THEM TO DEVELOP POLICIES THAT ALIGN WITH THE GUIDELINES. 

THESE NEW GUIDELINES ARE ILLEGAL IN THEIR CIRCUMVENTION OF LAW AND PROCEDURE FOR LEGAL NAME AND GENDER CHANGE. THE DOCUMENT USES UNCOMPROMISING LANGUAGE AND DEFINITE EXPECTATION[1] WHICH BULLIES SCHOOL BOARDS TO HURRIEDLY SUBMIT POLICIES.

WITH LOOMING THREAT OF SCHOOL BOARD DISSOLUTION, ALBERTA’S EDUCATORS MUST COMPLY WITH GUIDELINES THAT DANGEROUSLY LACK SUFFICIENT CONSIDERATION AS TO THE LEGAL, MORAL, AND PRIVACY IMPLICATIONS.

WITH A SUBMISSION DEADLINE OF MARCH 31, 2016, THESE GUIDELINES CONTINUE TO HAVE INADEQUATE PUBLIC CONSULTATION RESULTING IN FIVE SIGNIFICANT AND PROBLEMATIC AREAS OF CONCERN.

 Footnotes:

[1] Policies that school boards develop in creating learning environments that respect diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions will be measured against the Guidelines – page 4 “Each best practice…includes a short descriptor and indicators of what it would look like in successful implementation.” Hence, the Guidelines also include several sections that detail how a school will operate when appropriate policies are in place (i.e. policies that align with the Guidelines) (pp.4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15). Furthermore, David Eggen's statement in his letter to School Boards November 6, 2015 states, "My staff will be in further contact with you in the near future to provide more guidance [The Guidelines provided on January 13, 2016] about the content I expect to see covered by your policies and regulations or procedures." Finally, in these articles David Eggen says dissolving the Edmonton Catholic School Board is an option (articles found here and here).